What colours work with white kitchens? These are the 5 shades you can't go wrong with

Bring a white kitchen to life with these five, fresh colour combos that our experts love

White kitchen with navy island
(Image credit: Future)

Neutral colours are a safe bet when investing in a kitchen, but to add personality to a simple scheme, you might wonder what colours go with white kitchens.

A kitchen is a big committment, so we can see why white kitchen ideas are still such a popular choice for many homeowners. However, too much of this pale tone will make your space look sterile, so it’s important to consider what other shades you can add for a more inviting interior.

White goes with any hue on the colour wheel (which is probably why you picked it), but with so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, our experts have the best kitchen ideas that will help you narrow your choices so you can style your white scheme the right way. 

What colours work with white kitchens?

White goes with any shade, so the challenge is to find kitchen colour schemes that reflect your personality and inject life into your home. Our list of colour pairings will help refine your ideas so you can create an interior that’s equal parts timeless and trendy.

1. Black

White kitchen with black range cooker

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Jane Watson)

Black and white interiors have a special place in our hearts because they have a timeless quality that transcends trends. Monochrome decors are also really adaptable, and there are countless options for creating a look that suits your aesthetic.

'Adding black worktops is an easy way to elevate a white kitchen, as it creates a striking focal point,' explains Jen Nash, head of design at Magnet. 'Opt for countertop materials, like black granite, as they add dimension and create a modern kitchen idea with a sophisticated look.'

If you’re not convinced about a black counter, opt for a more subtle approach by adding hints of this dark hue to punctuate a serene scheme. Black handles are an easy way to do this, as well as black grout between white floor or wall tiles - the choices really are endless.

2. Wood

White kitchen with dark wood wortop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

While a white kitchen is unquestionably the best foundation for a bright and airy design, it can leave a space feeling cold and clinical. 

'Often, people think white is the best option as they think it will lighten their space,' says Richard Davenport, managing director at Davonport. 'However, it doesn't contain any warm pigments to provide much-needed dimension, so it actually has the opposite effect to what people were after.'

An easy way to fix this is by adding warm tones with timber features, like flooring. Oak is a fail-safe option, while walnut is all the rage right now, as it adds depth and sophistication to a space.

'For 2024, one kitchen trend we are seeing come to life within white kitchens is the use of wood to contrast against all-white,' agrees Richard. 'With a bright palette, the beauty of wood stands out, creating a chic and classic interior.'

3. Neutrals

Neutral kitchen with white island

(Image credit: Future/James Merrell)

We get it - you chose white for a reason, but you can still maintain a spacious atmosphere by adding other neutrals, like cream and grey, on wall units. If you don’t want to add solid blocks of these colours, look for materials, such as marble and stone, with natural variations of these shades for a softer feel. 

'Choosing a quartz backboard or splashback with subtle veining will create a more cohesive look,' explains Jen. 'It will also create a seamless aesthetic that complements the overall design.'

The added bonus is that these patterns are timeless, so they’ll add longevity to an already classic decor, so you can be sure your layout will look good for years to come.

4. Brass

White shaker kitchen with open shelving.

(Image credit: Future PLC/Anna Stathaki)

If a premium palette is what you’re after, then look no further than brass. This tone has long been a mainstay in stately homes for good reason. The yellow hue mimics the appearance of precious gold, and what can look more luxe than that?

According to Ruth, design expert at Benchmarx, it only takes a few, simple touches to achieve this sophisticated scheme. 

'Choose handles in brass to introduce metallic accents into the space,' says Ruth. 'For a harmonious, high-end design, pair your handles with matching taps and light fittings to tie the scheme together.'

5. Navy

White kitchen with navy island

(Image credit: Future)

An all-white kitchen has one common problem: it can look too flat. Introducing a dark colour, like navy, will add depth and prevent the space from feeling too one-dimensional. 

So, why add a navy kitchen idea instead of other deep hues? Well, for starters, it has a cool tone that creates a calming ambience, which is great for a busy cooking area. It's also a less intense option than black, plus it can be styled in various ways - from coastal to country farmhouse - so you'll have plenty of options when decorating in the future. 

Our favourite ways of adding this shade to a scheme are to place navy cupboards on an island or to use glossy tiles along the back wall. This will inject enough colour without overpowering the space, creating a striking look. Win-win.


Are white kitchen cabinets still in style?

Although more people are gravitating toward colour when it comes to their interiors, white kitchen cabinets remain a popular choice. This is because they have a timeless appearance and versatile quality that can be restyled to meet changing trends, so a kitchen looks good for longer. 

'White continues to be a best-seller because it’s a clean hue and offers a fresh aesthetic,' says Ruth. 'It can also be paired with any door style - shaker or slab - for an elegant look.'

What floor should you pair with a white kitchen?

The beauty of a white kitchen is that any kitchen flooring idea goes. To hone in on the best option for your space, it’s important to consider the exact look and feel that you want to create, as well as your budget.

'There are several flooring designs you can choose to elevate white cabinets, depending on the overall style of your kitchen,' explains Jen. 'For a traditional look, wooden floors, such as oak, create a homely atmosphere and work especially well with white cabinets that have a warm undertone.'

'If you’re after a more budget-friendly option, oak laminate alternatives, such as Magnet’s Brissaic or Westside Oak, give you the same look and durability without the price tag.'

'For those of you looking to create a contemporary or minimalist style, stone flooring such as limestone, bluestone, and marble are great options.'

Ultimately, the colour pairings that work in white kitchens are endless, so there really is no wrong answer. Whichever pairing you pick should reflect your aesthetic and bring you joy. 

Which designer-approved duo are you dying to try out?

Alisha Solanki

Alisha Solanki is a freelance writer obsessed with all things interiors. Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Coventry University in 2016, she started her career in the editorial team at Howdens, where she fell in love with writing about interiors. Having recently bought her first new-build home, Alisha is currently furnishing it with a mix of modern and Indian-inspired pieces that reflect her rich heritage.